Engineering - Civil School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Do you want a career that's challenging, creative, rewarding and vital to our way of life? Could you be the brains behind building projects like football stadiums and high-rise skyscrapers?Civil engineering

Being a civil engineer gives you the chance to be involved with what our society needs to operate. From buildings and bridges, to roads and railways, to shopping malls and schools, civil engineers lend their creativity and expertise to designing things that are usable, long-lasting and enhance quality of life. A career in civil engineering will see you working with other professionals like surveyors and architects while they manage aspects of the project like environmental impact and cost of time and materials.

What’s it all about?TOP ^

A big advantage in civil engineering is being able to see the project you've worked on come to life. There are huge amounts of satisfaction in looking back at the hard work that's gone into something, and realising how it was all worth it.

Looking for adventure? This job can take you anywhere you'd like to go – even development projects in the third world. Several charities send skilled professionals to help with disaster relief, which is perfect for civil engineers as you can apply your knowledge about structures and the environment to help a community recover.

Most civil engineers start in graduate programmes therefore as a school leaver you might want to consider higher education if you want to explore civil engineering careers. This will give you a great start in building up both training and practical skills.

There's a lot of variety in this job as you can work on a number of different kinds of projects. The job could involve a lot of travel as civil engineers spend time both in and out of the office, depending on when they need to be at their project's site. You'll work around 40 hours a week – more if you need to stay late to sort out any problems and last-minute alterations. Civil engineers can be self-employed, working as a consultant on a variety of projects that companies or cities hire them to do.

What will I earn? TOP ^

Graduates can start out with a salary around £19,000 - £22,000, quickly climbing over £30,000. Experienced civil engineers can earn well above this, making beyond £50,000 and £60,000 in some positions.

Where can I work? TOP ^

Civil engineers traditionally work in two strands of engineering: Consulting and contracting.

Consulting civil engineers are involved in the design, development and implementation of engineering projects, from building bridges to skyscrapers. Civil engineers are the brains behind these construction projects.

Contracting civil engineers are the builders who make projects happen. They are involved in the actual construction of projects.

What skills will I need in civil engineering?TOP ^

Apart from being good at maths, physic and chemistry, it's important to have good social skills and a clear way of explaining things to your colleagues. You’ll need to be confident with managing projects, and in putting your innovative ideas forward.

Civil engineers build all types of structures, from bridges to roads, tunnels to water storage. The skills you develop will put you in good stead for project management jobs.

Some skills that would be useful for a graduate civil engineering role include:

What entry level civil engineering jobs can I do? TOP ^

You’ll need a degree if you want to break into civil engineering, so most entry level jobs are aimed at new graduates with the technical skills needed for industry.

Some entry level civil engineering jobs include:

  • Consulting civil engineer
  • Contracting civil engineer
  • Site engineer
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Building services engineer
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